- Views & Opinions
Count me among those who misjudged the strength of Donald Trump and the forces of reaction in our country.
Despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, she’s outta here. This is the fifth election in our nation’s history in which the person getting the most votes lost the presidency. The last was the controversial race between Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000, which was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Debate about the Electoral College is stirring again. Maybe the rage for all things Alexander Hamilton due to the hit Broadway musical will inspire Americans to revisit the Federalist Papers and reassess Hamilton’s and James Madison’s arguments about voting and electoral representation.
Our founders’ compromised in creating our electoral system to prevent any one interest group or geographical section of the country from dominating the country as a whole. The biggest concern at that time was to placate the agrarian, slave-holding South, so a reconsideration seems long overdue.
My election night party to celebrate our first woman president turned into a nightmare. I only snapped out of it days later after seeing Kate McKinnon’s tribute to Leonard Cohen and Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live. In a lovely, unexpected grace note to an awful week, Kate as Hillary — or maybe Kate as Kate — declared: “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”
For years I have encouraged readers to get involved, stay vigilant, vote in every election and support groups that represent your interests. I continue to urge all those things today, but I’ve got a bad feeling about the next few years.
Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist and con man. His appeals to fear and hatred and his scapegoating of minorities are reminiscent of the tactics employed by the worst dictators of the 20th century. The scurrilous right-wing media that fanned bitterness, assassinated Clinton’s character and abetted Trump’s rise are a blight on the nation.
It is tragic that people felt so disenfranchised they turned to such a man to seek redress.
It is also poor judgment. Trump-like appeals to resentment and xenophobia have led to the ugliest episodes in human history.
Some pundits say that Trump is not an ideologue. He’s supported liberal candidates in the past. He’s considering retaining some popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act. He wants a big infrastructure program to put people to work, just as Clinton proposed.
That’s meant to be reassuring. But Trump has the attention span of a pea. He is surrounded by some of the most ideologically rigid (Mike Pence), devious (Stephen Bannon), and vindictive (Rudy Giuliani) men in the country. The GOP majority in Congress is itching to pass its extremist agenda. Bye bye, Social Security and gay marriage! Hello, corporate polluters and backalley abortionists!
Are we really depending on Ivanka Trump to reason with her father? Can a narcissistic billionaire who prefers the isolation of his golden tower really be a man of the people? Can a politician who engages in gutter politics “drain the swamp”?